We have been eagerly following any developments the government has put out regarding exercising in numbers. Once a change has happened, we have then waited for UK Athletics and or England Athletics to confirm the statement and follow their advice. In the last ten days we have been able to resume mini group sessions which is 5 members plus 1 leader which has been wonderful.
We have ensured we are mainly sticking to wide open green spaces or trail runs to keep off the pavements as much as possible for the time being. This makes our members feel safer and respects the publics space. We have ensured all members are adhering to social distancing guidelines and that leaders take all necessary appropriate measures for hygiene and safety.
As a result, the ladies have come away beaming from ear to ear after each run or session and have really appreciated having that connection again. It takes a lot more administration to coordinate but is so worthwhile. All the leaders are pulling together to offer extra sessions to accommodate all the members sometimes running 3 sessions in a row, when that would use to have been one session.
Learn to run jogs along nicely…
We have managed to continue coaching our ‘learn to run’ ladies who had just started running before the Corona Pandemic had hit hard in the UK and lockdown had occurred.
We had launched two new courses at the beginning of March on a Monday evening and Saturday morning. Both courses were sold out and in full swing at week 4,3 respectively. We had to stop these courses with immediate effect when lockdown happened.
Understandably at the time not many of the ladies were new to running and felt uncomfortable going out on their own doing solo runs. The whole point of a learn to run group is to have the support of other people going thourgh the same thing. We shared homework details and expected timings with the ladies each week and encouraged those who wished to continue to do so. The ladies found it hard to stay motivated this way so we started to look at the best ways to keep them going.
Making it work
We discovered the joys of virtual runs and set about continuing in this way until restrictions were lifted. We set up mini groups on messenger and dialled in with the camera so that we could see the ladies and run with them. We all leave our houses at the same time and run solo along the streets or greens and chat to them about anything and everything until its time for there 1 minute walk break.
Sessions carried on virtually until we were allowed to exercise with one person outside of our household. Leaders then started running to meet individuals still on virtual chat with the rest of the group so that everyone could stick to the same timings.
Just recently as the restrictions have changed to 5 people plus a leader we are now able to resume some mini group sessions. We have lots of little pockets of ladies that are at different weeks/timings to each other but the aim is to eventually bring them all back together in one group as we reunite.
Last week we surpised some of our dedicated runners who carried on regardless through lockdown with their graduation run, they completed 5km non stop so received their certificates and welcome information to the club. We expect to see several more ladies graduate in the next few weeks and then resume mini sessions with the rest of the ladies over the summer.